As the month proceeds, the Sun climbs through the stars of Taurus until around 02h00 on the 22nd, when it crosses the border into Gemini. The solstice
occurs on June 21st at 15h55 The Earth-Sun distance is 152, 028,935 km. The solstice marks the astronomical start of summer in the northern hemisphere, and the beginning of winter in the southern. Thus takes place the longest day and shortest
night for us here in the UK, and thereafter night length increases once again. The season of summer lasts about 94 days. In the northern UK, there is no true night, and at astronomical midnight, the sky is not black but a beautiful velvet deep blue, merging
to turquoise on the northern horizon. Don’t forget to look out for noctilucent clouds in the hour before and after midnight as they catch the light of the Sun, which is not very far below the northern horizon at this time of year.
Moon is at perigee
(nearest to the Earth) on June 7th at 23h, and the lunar diameter is 32mins of arc.
The Moon is at apogee (furthest from the Earth) twice this month, on the 23rd at 08h. Lunar
diameter is 30 mins of arc.
New Moon occurs on the 3rd, at 10h03 when the Moon passes 3.5° to the south of the
Sun in the constellation of Taurus.
First Quarter is on the 10th at 06h00 on the Leo/Virgo border.
The Midsummer Full Moon is at 08h31 on the 17th, in Ophiuchus, several degrees to the east of Jupiter.This is the lowest Full Moon of this year.
Last Quarter Moon is on the 25th at 09h47 near the Pisces/Cetus border.
Look for earthshine on the waxing crescent Moon from June 4th to the 8th, and on the first two and last three days of the month on the waning crescent. Earthshine is the faint
on the night hemisphere of the Moon due to the light of our planet falling on the dark lunar surface illuminating it, rather like moonlight falling on Earth.
is at greatest elongation on the 23rd at 22h, and so there is the opportunity to observe this elusive planet in the bright summer twilight after the Sun has set. Look low in the NW sky close to the horizon using binoculars to spot this,
the nearest planet to the Sun. Mercury sets around 22h15 mid-month. Use your binoculars on the evening of the 18th to see if you can spot Mercury in conjunction with Mars. They have a separation of 0.3°; Mercury by far the brighter of the two.
On the evening of the 4th it may be possible, also using binoculars, to see Mercury with the very thin one-day old crescent Moon, which is located 4° to the lower left of the planet.
In ancient times, the evening apparition of the planet was referred to as Hermes, (the Greek name for Mercury), and the planet in its morning apparition was called Apollo, the harbinger of sunrise. In mythology, Hermes carried
Apollo on his chariot through the night.
Throughout June, Venus ,which through a telescope presents a gibbous phase, rises less than an hour before
the Sun, and so is a difficult object to locate close to the horizon in the bright midsummer twilight. It may be glimpsed in binoculars, but be very cautious as the planet lies in the direction of sunrise, and under no circumstances should you observe the
rising Sun through binoculars.
As June begins, Mars is moving eastwards in Gemini the Twins, but is now an inconspicuous object at magnitude +1.7,
about the same brightness as Castor, which is at a higher altitude. By the end of the month, Mars sets in the NW before 22h00, by which time it is very difficult to see in the bright evening twilight of midsummer. However, remember, to look for the close conjunction
of Mercury and Mars on the evening of the 18th.
Jupiter is at opposition and its nearest to Earth on the 10th. It lies in
the constellation of Ophiuchus, and is visible throughout the bright twilit night, rising in the SE as the Sun sets, and setting in the SW at sunrise. At astronomical midnight the planet culminates in the south, a mere 15° above the south point of the
horizon. On the evening of the 16th, the gibbous waxing Moon, almost full, may be seen to the left of Jupiter; the separation between the two being 2° at 22h that evening. The reddish coloured star some 10° to the lower right of the pair
is the fiery heart of the scorpion, Antares (alpha Scorpii).
Look through binoculars or a small telescope to observe the dance of the Galilean satellites, which change position on a nightly basis.
Saturn, at a low southern declination in the constellation of Sagittarius, is always seen at a low altitude throughout the short nights of June. Throughout the month
it rises in the late evening and culminates at an altitude of 15° at around 02h mid-month. The gibbous waning Moon has a close conjunction with Saturn on the 19th, when at 03h, Saturn lies 1° north of the Moon as seen from the latitude of
Scarborough. The further south one goes, the closer the conjunction. The northern surface of the rings are presented towards the Earth and will be well seen through a small telescope. Titan, the largest of the Saturnian moons at magnitude +8 is at its greatest
elongation east of Saturn on the 1st and 17th and at its greatest western elongation on the 9th and the 25th.
Uranus in Aries, and Neptune in Aquarius, rise during the early hours of June, and are difficult to observe in the bright twilight. However, if you go to the Remote Planets page in these Sky Notes, you will see the celestial
positions of 6th magnitude Uranus and 8th magnitude Neptune.
Constellations visible in the south around midnight, mid-month, are as follows:
Ophiuchus, Serpens Cauda, Hercules, and the head of Draco the dragon, which is near the zenith.
All times are GMT 1° is one finger width at arm’s length.
The phenomena of the month : June 2019
Times are given in UT for SCARBOROUGH (0° 25' 0" W, 54° 16' 3" N, zone 0 = Universal Time).
Date Hour Description of the phenomenon
yyyy mm dd hh:mm
2019 06 01 16:46
Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2019 06 03 10:02 NEW MOON
2019 06 04 13:35 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta
2019 06 05 00:30 Simultaneous transits on Jupiter: one satellite and shadows of two satellites.
2019 06 05 00:39 Simultaneous
transits on Jupiter: two satellites and shadows of two satellites.
2019 06 05 01:55 Simultaneous transits on Jupiter: two satellites and shadow of one satellite.
2019 06 06 01:29 Close encounter between Mercury and M 35 (topocentric dist. cenre to centre = 1.2°)
2019 06 06 01:43 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2019 06 06 07:53 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2019 06 07 10:24 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2019 06 07 23:21 Moon at perigee (geocentric dist. = 368504 km)
2019 06 08 22:23 Close encounter between the Moon and Regulus (topocentric dist. centre
to centre = 2.2°)
2019 06 09 13:35 Minimum of the variable star beta Lyrae
2019 06 10 05:59 FIRST QUARTER OF THE MOON
2019 06 10 07:13 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2019 06 10 10:38 Maximum of the variable star zeta Gemini
2019 06 10 15:29 OPPOSITION of Jupiter with the Sun
2019 06 11 10:30 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
06 13 04:02 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2019 06 13 12:07 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2019 06 14
14:24 Opposition of the asteroid 410 Chloris with the Sun (dist. to the Sun = 2.067 AU; magn. = 10.3)
2019 06 16 00:50 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2019 06 16 19:17 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2019 06 17 05:46 Close encounter between Venus and Aldebaran (topocentric dist. centre to centre
2019 06 17 08:31 FULL MOON
2019 06 18 17:59 Close encounter between Mercury and Mars (topocentric dist. centre to centre
2019 06 18 21:39 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2019 06 20 05:46 Close encounter between Mercury and
Pollux (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 5.5°)
2019 06 20 14:15 Maximum of the variable star zeta Gemini
2019 06 20 16:20
Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2019 06 21 15:54 SUMMER SOLSTICE
2019 06 21 17:07 Close encounter between Mars and Pollux
(topocentric dist. centre to centre = 5.5°)
2019 06 21 18:28 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2019 06 22 04:05
Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2019 06 22 12:09 Minimum of the variable star beta Lyrae
2019 06 23 07:50 Moon at apogee
(geocentric dist. = 404548 km)
2019 06 24 00:00 GREATEST EASTERN ELONGATION of Mercury (25.2°)
2019 06 24 15:17 Minimum of the
variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2019 06 25 01:09 End of occultation of 33 Psc (magn. = 4.61)
2019 06 25 09:46 LAST QUARTER OF THE
2019 06 26 01:47 Beginning of occultation of 20 Cet (magn. = 4.78)
2019 06 27 12:05 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta
2019 06 27 12:52 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2019 06 27 16:55 Meteor shower : June Bootids (duration = 11.0
2019 06 27 20:34 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2019 06 30 08:54 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta
2019 06 30 17:51 Maximum of the variable star zeta Gemini
Generated using COELIX APEX software